ACOs and Specialty Manufacturers: Engaging for the Future


Why a value-based engagement strategy sets the stage for an innovative new partnership

May 06, 2015

Like everything else in the dynamic world of pharmaceutical manufacturing, the forces of change are impacting the processes for launching and managing the lifecycle of a specialty product as new stakeholders broaden the borders of conventional thinking. A successful product commercialization strategy can no longer focus solely on the traditional audiences of physicians, patients and payers, or continue to use traditional methods and tactics. Instead, launch teams need to add diverse constituencies and influencers into the mix and expand their engagement efforts to reflect the distinctive realities of these new players. Of particular importance are accountable care organizations (ACOs), a unique healthcare delivery model that is becoming more significant as it evolves and grows, gaining in both clout and acceptance.   043_Spec _Drug _Img _r 1_FB

Why ACOs matter to specialty manufacturers

ACOs are organized around the central philosophy of collaborative healthcare and shared savings. By shifting from fee-for-service to a broader population-focused approach, an ACO can better manage both costs and quality, spreading financial risk across its membership while prioritizing enhanced care with its collaborative partners, which typically include physicians, hospitals and other providers. In order to meet these goals, metrics become a key focus, with measuring improvements in patient health and the cost of delivery of paramount importance. In fact, many ACOs offer participating providers performance-based financial incentives as a way to drive and accelerate results.

Having a successful ACO engagement strategy is a growing necessity as pharmaceutical management evolves into a core element of clinical and financial measurement within the ACO model, particularly in the area of complex disease states. The reality is that specialty diseases affect less than half of 1 percent of the population in any given year, but they may account for about 15 percent of an ACO's combined medical and pharmacy costs.1 Because of this, manufacturers need to reframe their product's value proposition so it includes outcomes data and analysis that can more readily demonstrate the ability for a particular therapy to improve the quality of care while reducing the cost of treatment. For example, outcomes data relevant to an ACO could include clinical evidence that a therapy reduces comorbidities or prevents hospital admissions and readmissions or shortens lengths of stay.

By adopting an outcomes-based mentality, specialty manufacturers have the opportunity to tailor their value proposition to an important new constituency, forging a new partnership that supports ACO stakeholders in meeting their stated goals.

For more information, access our white paper, "Specialty Drug Management Strategies Within the ACO Model."

1 Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis cost the US in the billions. (n.d.). Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America website. Retrieved September 20, 2014.

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